* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!

Links:

» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)

Moderators:

Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

What length of EXE file is most preferred?

Sample1: excellent-password-generator-deluxe.exe
Sample2: epgd.exe
The long name is clear and easy to understand for what this program is designed, for example in Windows Task Manager.
But it is cumbersome, or not to think about it?
The short name might scare the user, he may think that it is a virus. Antivirus programs can also block it.
PS: my app is not password generator :)
Don Pedro Send private email
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
 
 
Nerds prefer acronyms, normal people prefer long words.

Source: I sell normal people apps + nerd apps
Bring back anon Send private email
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
 
 
But maybe there are some technical reasons why many people still use very short and unreadable names for executable files.
Don Pedro Send private email
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
 
 
Because exe names don't matter for 99.99% of customers. Just create a shortcut to your exe and plop that shortcut into the end-user's "Start Menu" and optionally their desktop.

The task manager expands the process names for visible processes to the full title of the main window anyway. Also, I have never seen a virus scanner that cared what an exe was named. A virus doesn't get magical powers when it's renamed "word.exe", and a safe file doesn't get flagged if you name it "scary-virus-boo.exe".

In short: you have a solution looking for a problem.
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
 
 
As a user who actually looks at the Task Manager sometimes, I prefer informative readable names, like PasswordPro.exe.  But if it is called PPro.exe I am not going to really fuss about that.

> But maybe there are some technical reasons why many people still use very short and unreadable names for executable files.

How could there be?  What would possibly be the mechanism?

The reason they use short and unreadable names is the same reason that so many open source projects give their tool names like CFFI, rom, rJSmin, devpi, LDTP, pyC11, WSME, etc*:  there is some geek gene that likes doing that, I guess.  (*all of those are actual names).
Racky Send private email
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
 
 
I prefer a longer name.  Add the version, too.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
 
 
From a programmer's POV, if the tool has command line options and is scriptable, the shorter it is the less I have to type or to copy/paste. Though I prefer less cryptic names like pwgen.exe that at least give a hint to the function.

From a user's POV, mostly I don't care. Though there is a good chance that two weeks from now, I won't remember what this funny epgd.zip in my download folder is all about.

From an admin's POV, when handling a company's computer zoo, the more info there is in the name, found in log files, user's screenshots of error messages to the help desk, process lists, software installation lists, etc., the better. Name, version number, OS, 32/64 bit, ...
Secure Send private email
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
 
 
If your application is actually known as epgd and referred to in the press and by customers using that, then that is fine. If not, use the full name.
Scott Send private email
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
 
 
I prefer a composite name, such as:
MyCompany.MyProduct.exe
Néstor Sánchez A. Send private email
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
 
 
Us the full name.  Back in the day I was naming my exe's with 8 characters so the names didn't get malformed by Windows NT.  When I look back on my exe names from those days I cringe.
Mark Nemtsas Send private email
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
 
 
We ship two executables which makes the naming easy.

"excellent-password-generator-deluxe.exe" is the GUI application
"epgd.exe" is the command line version

If you program supports the command line, I would always go with the shorter name.
Adrian Lock Send private email
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
 
 
Short name as stated can be blocked by anti-virus and seems like a malware of virus.  I personally feel unsafe with short .exe files whose names are not clear and seems like hacking tools. I even didn't see much .exe names in long formats may be their is a character limit of the same.
aaron wallace Send private email
Thursday, August 08, 2013
 
 
"I have never seen a virus scanner that cared what an exe was named"

Oh, you'll find that quite a few will freak out at an exe named "svchost.exe", for one.  :)
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
 
 
If I don't need to type it on the command line, then I don't really care that much.  If I do have to type it on the command line, I prefer something short but easy to remember.

Short but not TOO short.  Over-shortening makes it too hard to remember what to type (e.g.  au.exe instead of adduser.exe).  I don't mind typing a few extra characters for an easier to remember command.
Jeff Loughlin Send private email
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz